Levine hopped on Instagram to show his followers the process of getting the tattoo—which was created by artist Nathan Kostechko—saying that the shading on day 3 was among the most painful parts.
Levine also showed the finished product, waves that span the length of his entire leg—all the way from his upper thigh down to his ankle:
Three days is obviously a long, long time to deal with a tattoo needle going in and out of your skin, but Levine’s most intricate work actually took a full six months to complete. The tattoo in question is on Levine’s back, and features a mermaid with wings perched on a rock with a ship behind her. Oh, and she’s holding a skull in her arms, as one does:
Levine also opened up about his passion for tattoos during his Sexiest Man Alive interview, telling People Magazine,“Tattoos wind up being this strange road map or narrative over the years. They always remind me of this long, weird, awesome journey life has been.”